Kwangju Massacre: Forgotten Tale of May of 1980 Essay

Kwangju Massacre: Forgotten Tale of May of 1980 Essay

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The Kwangju Massacre, also widely known as the Kwangju Democratic Uprising to those who support the movement played a significant role in the course of democratization of South Korea. This research paper focuses on why the Kwangju Uprising occurred and the role of the United States. Many South Koreans felt that the United States supported President Chun’s military government and outlook the injustice that was taking place in Kwangju. The Kwagju Massacre ended with the army seizing the Province hall once again on May 27th 1980. Even with the defeat, the Kwangju Uprising gave aspiration to the citizen that they are able to bring change in the government policies.
Historical Background of the Uprising
Korea gained independence from Japanese colonial rule in August of 1945 and also the division of Korea into the republic south and communist north in the 38th parallel. South Korea then was under the United States occupation from l945-48. Before the United States occupation South Korea had already organized a central People’s committees and established the Korean People of Republic (Memorial Foundation). Nevertheless, United States did not recognize any of the provisional or republic government. The United States refused to do so until there had been an agreement among the western allies. In 1954, there was a Mutual Security Agreement signed between the United States and South Korea, which states that they agreed to defend each other in the event of outside aggression (Memorial Foundation). South Korea has been under military authoritarian regime from 1961-1979 under President Park Chung Hee and from 1980-1992 under President Chun Doo Hwan. The Kwangju uprising occurred in May of 1980 after the collapse of the first milit...


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... fought alongside U.S. forces in Vietnam.”






Works Cited

Lewis, Linda S. Laying Claim to the Memory of May: A Look Back at the 1980

The May 18 Memorial Foundation. The May 18 Memorial Foundation, Aug.-Sept. 1994. Web. 22 Apr. 2011. .

Steinberg, David I., and Donald N. Clark. "Review of The Kwangju Uprising: Shadows over the Regime in South Korea." The Journal of Asian Studies 47.3 (1988): 662-63. Print.

"Background Notes: South Korea." U.S. Department of State. Web. 20 Apr. 2011. .

Chŏng, Sang-yong, and Si-min Yu. Memories of May 1980: A Documentary History of the Kwangju Uprising in Korea. Seoul: Korea Democracy Foundation, 2003. Print.

Katsiaficas, George. "Remembering the Kwangju Uprising." Socialism & Democracy. 14.1 (2000): 85-107. Print.

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